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Perhaps from Latin mitis (mild).


mitis (uncountable)

  1. (attributive) A process for producing malleable iron castings by melting wrought iron, to which from 0.05 to 0.1 per cent of aluminum is added to lower the melting point, usually in a petroleum furnace, keeping the molten metal at the bubbling point until it becomes quiet, and then pouring the molten metal into a mold lined with a special mixture consisting essentially of molasses and ground burnt fire clay.
  2. The malleable iron produced by this technique.




The prevailing etymology connects Old Irish méth (plump, fat), Welsh mwyd (act of soaking), Welsh mwydion (soft parts) (from Proto-Celtic *mētos (soft, plump)); Old Irish mín (soft; gentle, smooth; mild, tender, calm) (Proto-Celtic *mīnos); and Old Irish moíth (soft, tender) (Proto-Celtic *moytos), together from Proto-Indo-European *meyh₁- (mild, soft). Other potential Indo-European cognates also point to a meaning like “pleasant”: Sanskrit मयस् (máyas, pleasure, enjoyment, refreshment), Avestan 𐬨𐬀𐬌𐬌𐬀𐬵(maiiah, pleasure), Proto-Slavic *mìlъ (soft, mild, gentle, agreeable, pleasant, sweet, dear), Lithuanian mielas (nice, sweet, cute), Latvian mīls (dear, cherished, beloved), Old Prussian mijls (dear). De Vaan suggests that the root *meyh₁- is actually *meh₁i-, being originally an extension of *meh₁- (to measure).

Alternatively Oettinger compares Hittite 𒈠𒀀𒄿𒀭𒍣 (ma-a-i-an-zi, to grow (up); to prosper), reconstructing Proto-Indo-European *meyH- (to ripen); Kloekhorst rejects this on both semantic and formal grounds.



mītis (neuter mīte, comparative mītior, superlative mītissimus); third-declension two-termination adjective

  1. mild, mellow, mature, ripe; sweet, juicy, succulent
  2. (of the soil) light, fruitful, mellow.
  3. (of a river) calm, gentle, placid
    Synonyms: placidus, lentus, lēnis
  4. (of the weather) peaceful, pleasant, clement, calm
    Synonyms: misericors, tranquillus, placidus, quietus, clemens
    Antonyms: violēns, obstreperus, clāmātōrius, trux, ferōx, atrōx, silvāticus, ācer
  5. (figuratively) soft, tolerable, meek, peaceful, gentle, mild


Third-declension two-termination adjective.

Number Singular Plural
Case / Gender Masc./Fem. Neuter Masc./Fem. Neuter
Nominative mītis mīte mītēs mītia
Genitive mītis mītium
Dative mītī mītibus
Accusative mītem mīte mītēs
Ablative mītī mītibus
Vocative mītis mīte mītēs mītia


  • (sweet, mellow, soft; peaceful): immītis

Derived terms[edit]

Related terms[edit]


  • Italian: mite, mezzo
  • English: mitis


  • mitis”, in Charlton T. Lewis and Charles Short (1879) A Latin Dictionary, Oxford: Clarendon Press
  • mitis”, in Charlton T. Lewis (1891) An Elementary Latin Dictionary, New York: Harper & Brothers
  • mitis in Gaffiot, Félix (1934) Dictionnaire illustré latin-français, Hachette
  • De Vaan, Michiel (2008), “mītis”, in Etymological Dictionary of Latin and the other Italic Languages (Leiden Indo-European Etymological Dictionary Series; 7), Leiden, Boston: Brill, →ISBN, page 383
  • Kloekhorst, Alwin (2008), “mai-i / mi-”, in Etymological Dictionary of the Hittite Inherited Lexicon (Leiden Indo-European Etymological Dictionary Series; 5), Leiden, Boston: Brill, →ISBN, pages 540–541
  • Matasović, Ranko (2009), “mēto-, *mēti-”, in Etymological Dictionary of Proto-Celtic (Leiden Indo-European Etymological Dictionary Series; 9), Leiden: Brill, →ISBN, page 270
  • Matasović, Ranko (2009), “moyto-”, in Etymological Dictionary of Proto-Celtic (Leiden Indo-European Etymological Dictionary Series; 9), Leiden: Brill, →ISBN, page 279
  • Oettinger, Norbert (1979) Die Stammbildung des hethitischen Verbums (Erlanger Beiträge zur Sprach- und Kunstwissenschaft; 64), Nürnberg, page 471
  • Schrijver, Peter C. H. (1991) The reflexes of the Proto-Indo-European laryngeals in Latin (Leiden studies in Indo-European; 2), Amsterdam, Atlanta: Rodopi, page 244




  1. accusative plural of mit